At Belle Sherman our 3rd grade class has been having a blast with our trout! We started with about 300 alevin-- we actually counted them. Lately we have had a huge die-off, though the water chemistry looks fine so we aren't sure why. We are at about 150 now.
The children designed an experiment earlier on to determine if the fish were ready for food. We put several fish into containers, fed them and observed their response to the food. The results were inconclusive, but it was very exciting anyway.
Our class has been formally observing the fish about once a week. Each observation has a focusing question or questions. Last week's questions were, What markings do the fish have? Why do you think they have those markings? Children record their observations in the form of drawings and written notes.
Matt Herman (our mentor and co-teacher in our class) and I took the class down to Six Mile Creek near Water St. for an up close and personal look at trout habitat.
We checked water temperature (39.1 F) and pH (7.8, just like in our tank) and threw lots of rocks in the water. When we returned to the classroom, children painted pictures of trout habitat, from the trout's point of view, which we will attach to the tank to help the fish feel more at home.
Children feed the fish and check pH daily. We are working up to the more complicated water tests.